The Brief: Memes that ask people to "tell us" something "without actually telling us" are popular on Twitter and TikTok.

Bluesquiggle
DEEP DIVE

“Tell us without telling us,” or “tell me without telling me” memes ask people to share that they match a set of criteria or are part of a group without explicitly stating it. This trend allows people to make pointed statements that play with stereotypes, defining characteristics, and inside jokes of different populations including groups of sports fans, consumers, people from certain regions, and more. These memes are popular on both Twitter and TikTok in mid-December 2020.

On Twitter, accounts are tweeting their followers, asking them to “tell us without telling us” something specific about themselves. This tweet format is popular on brand Twitter and sports Twitter.

https://twitter.com/jasonhentrich/status/1337435165291933697

In some cases, people saw these tweets as opportunities to dunk on the people, brands, or organizations posing the question by leaning into unflattering stereotypes, such as this one about BMW drivers:

https://twitter.com/DRupeck/status/1336747140672974848

This meme is also popular on TikTok where people are using the #Stitch feature to answer prompts that ask them to reveal that they have a certain trait or are a member of a group without directly saying so. At the time of writing, videos associated with the hashtags #TellMeChallenge and #TellMeWithoutTellingMe have been viewed over 9.4 million times on the app.

@swellcreative

#stitch with @macawmomma4 I’m very impressed with my bad acting. 🩴🩴#california #californiagirl #fresnocalifornia #fresnocali #winterincalifornia

♬ original sound – SwellCreative

@racheldayfrostt

#stitch with @tree.hee does anybody want them??

♬ original sound – Rachel